West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party state chief Dilip Ghosh after he threatened to shoot anti-citizenship law protestors involved in violence, like it was done in Uttar Pradesh, ANI reported.
Banerjee called Ghosh’s comments as “shameful” and said Bengal was not like Uttar Pradesh. “How can you say this,” she asked. “It’s a shame to even take his name. You’re promoting firing. This isn’t UP. Here firing won’t happen. Understand that if tomorrow something untoward happens, you’ll be equally responsible. You want to kill people for protesting?”
On Sunday, Ghosh had criticised the Mamata Banerjee government “for not opening fire and ordering lathicharge” on Citizenship Act protestors who vandalised railway tracks, trains and other public property last month. “Is it the father’s property of those who are setting public property on fire?” Ghosh had asked at a public meeting in Nadia district. “How can they destroy government property built on tax payers’ money! The governments of Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka did the right thing by opening fire on these anti-national elements [during anti-CAA protests].”
He went on to say: “Our government in UP, Assam and Karnataka shot these people like dogs”.
Union minister Babul Supriyo had distanced the party from Ghosh’s comments. “BJP has nothing to do with what Dilip Ghosh may have said,” he told ANI. “It is a figment of his imagination.” Supriyo also claimed that the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Assam never resorted to shooting people.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 26 people died in last month’s protests against the law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.